Ah but…


Our default position is ‘ah but..’

We look by habit for what won’t work with a new idea. We say ‘yeah but, what if this happens…’ or ‘yeah, but I’ve tried that…’.

That does not mean we should not question things and look for challenges. But more often than not, until you try something you won’t know what the issues might be, other than the glaringly obvious things, which can easily be remedied before pressing the launch button.

The reason for this is our habit of building a cast iron defense for justifying our position of fear of starting or trying new things.

Best thing is to just go, try it. Then learn what doesn’t quite work, modify and carry on. Form new habits.

It is a mindset thing, change the default to that will work from what won’t work.

Hiding things

Today I listened to one of my favourite podcasts, 99% Invisible with Roman Mars and this particular episode was all about recycling and garbage (refuse).

We would all be familiar with Beethoven’s ‘Fur Elise’ but apart from listening to it at a classical concert, we might also be used to hearing it on an ice cream van or an advert. We would not expect to hear it being played on a rubbish truck unless you were a resident of Taipei in Taiwan.

Taiwan is a densely populated relatively small island and therefore, there is not endless space for rubbish and until 20 years ago they have been pretty poor at recycling. Gradually they have gone from a few % being recycled to a now very impressive 50%.

How they have done this is making a refuse and recycling a very well seen and noisy activity, they enlisted the citizens in the whole process and why not, after all, it is their environment. They charge for the blue bags for general non-recycled waste and the bigger the bag, the more it costs. However, unlimited amounts of recycled waste are free and they recycle almost everything.

Now how they have brought it to the attention of all is to add music to the rubbish trucks, they come 5 days a week, the citizens gather on the street corners and wait for the music. They put the general waste in the yellow trucks and the rest gets sorted with help into all the different compartments of recycling on the white trucks.

Making rubbish and recycling a musical community event has had the desired effect.

Now, this may not work in all cultures, however, the point is, rubbish and waste in many countries is a silent almost hidden activity, where trucks early morning quietly whisk away our waste to hidden places to be dealt with.

Like many things, if you want change make a noise don’t hide the challenge away, enlist the community.

Music is just one way of drawing attention to something.